Online Mapping

SAFMC Habitat and Ecosystem ATLAS

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) has worked closely with SAFMC staff to compile, mainatain, and distribute GIS data, imagery, and documents relevant to ecosystem management in their jurisdiction. Over the last few years, the Council has incoporated ArcGIS for Server to enhance their web mapping applications. The new SAFMC Habitat and Ecosystem Atlas is a comprehensive site designed to replicate the data and tools of the long standing Internet Map Server (IMS). The new Atlas will allow users to view a variety of map services supporting fishery management issues in one viewer:

  • Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) – displays EFH and EFH-HAPCS for SAFMC managed species and NOAA Fisheries Highly Migratory Species
  • Fisheries - displays Marine Resources Monitoring, Assessment, and Prediction (MARMAP) and Southeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program-South Atlantic (SEAMAP-SA) data
  • Managed Areas- displays a variety of regulatory boundaries (SAFMC and Federal) or management boundaries within SAFMC’s jurisdiction
  • Habitat – displays habitat data collected by SEADESC, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) and Ocean Exploration dives, as well as the SEAMAP shallow and ESDIM deepwater bottom mapping projects,and scientific cruise data
  • Multibeam Bathymetry - displays a variety of multibeam data sources and scanned bathymetry charts
  • Nautical Charts – displays coastal, general, and overview nautical charts for the SAFMC’s jurisdictional area

The SAFMC Habitat and Ecosystem Viewer also includes options to view map services hosted by the NOAA Coastal Services Center:

  • South Carolina Wind Energy - displays many of the data layers being used by the South Carolina Renewable Energy Task Force in their decision making process.
  • Estuarine Bathymetry – displays bathymetry and shaded relief rasters for many estuaries of the South Atlantic Bight

 

     SAFMC GIS Data

Essential Fish Habitat

The Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996, identifying the contribution of habitat loss and degradation on fishery declines, amended the Magnuson-Stevens Act to create a program to protect “essential fish habitat.”  The statute defined EFH as “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.”  The legislation authorized a regulatory program to provide detailed identification of such habitat and obligatory consultation regarding all fishery and non-fishery activities receiving federal funding, permitting, or authorization that could impact EFH. The Council has taken the first step with the approval of the Habitat Plan identifying and describing in detail EFH for species managed throughout the South Atlantic and with the approval of the Comprehensive Habitat Amendment amending all existing FMPs to include descriptions of EFH and EFH-habitat areas of particular concern (EFH-HAPCs).

EFH for the SAFMC jurisdictional area INCLUDES:

Dolphin-Wahoo EFH In Progress Zip File ~21kb
Shrimp EFH Metadata Zip File ~46 mb
Spiny Lobster EFH Metadata Zip File ~29 mb
Coastal Migratory Pelagics EFH Metadata Zip File ~5 mb
Golden Crab EFH Metadata Zip File ~51 kb
Snapper Grouper EFH Metadata Zip File ~65 mb
Coral, Coral Reefs, Live or Hard Bottom EFH Metadata Zip File ~4 mb

 EFH-Habitat Areas of Particular Concern

Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) that is particularly important to the long-term productivity of populations of one or more managed species, or particularly vulnerable to degradation, should be identified as "habitat areas of particular concern" (HAPC) to help provide additional focus for conservation efforts.  As a result of the Sustainable Fisheries Act Amendment to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act in 1996 the Councils and the NMFS have been mandated to use an ecosystem approach in managing the Nation's Fisheries. The Council took the first step with the approval of the Habitat Plan identifying and describing in detail EFH for species managed throughout the South Atlantic and with the approval of the Comprehensive Habitat Amendment amending all existing FMPs to include descriptions of EFH and EFH-HAPCs.  Due to their important ecological function, areas of the offshore pelagic environments discussed above and the associated benthic habitats represent EFH-HAPCs and were designated as such though previous Council actions.

EFH-HAPCs INCLUDE:

HABITAT METADATA SHAPEFILE GOOGLE EARTH
Dolphin-Wahoo EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~8 kb KMZ
Coastal Migratory Pelagics EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~238 kb KMZ
Shrimp EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~2 mb KMZ
Spiny Lobster EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~2.8 mb KMZ
Snapper Grouper EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~28 mb KMZ
Coral, Coral Reef and Live or Hard Bottom EFH-HAPC Metadata Zip File ~2 mb KMZ
Tilefish EFH-HAPC In progress Zip File ~23kb In progress

 Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (Coral HAPCs) 

Deepwater Coral Habitat Areas of Particular Concern (Deepwater Coral HAPCs) have been designated off the coast of the southern Atlantic states in which the use of specified fishing gear and methods and the possession of coral is prohibited.  Within the Deepwater Coral HAPCs, fishing zones have been established that allow continued fishing on the historical grounds for golden crab and deepwater shrimp. This designation protects what is thought to be the largest distribution of pristine deepwater coral ecosystems in the world.

 Deepwater Coral HAPCs include:

 

  METADATA Tab Delimited Coordinates SHAPEFILE GOOGLE EARTH
Deepwater Coral HAPCs Metadata   Zip File ~11kb KMZ
Cape Lookout   CapeLookout.txt    
Cape Fear   CapeFear.txt    
Stetson-Miami Terrace   StetsonMiamiTerrace.txt    
Pourtales Terrace   PourtalesTerrace.txt    
Blake Ridge Diapir   BlakeRidgeDiapir.txt    
Golden Crab Access Area A   GCAA_A.txt Zip File ~6kb KMZ
Golden Crab Access Area B   GCAA_B.txt Zip File ~2kb KMZ
Golden Crab Access Area C   GCAA_C.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Golden Crab Northern Access Area   GCAA_Northern.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Golden Crab Southern Access Area   GCAA_Southern.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Shrimp Fishery Access Area A   SFAA_A.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Shrimp Fishery Access Area B   SFAA_B.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Shrimp Fishery Access Area C   SFAA_C.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
Shrimp Fishery Access Area D   SFAA_D.txt Zip File ~3kb KMZ
         
         

 Restricted Gear

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's (SAFMC) role is to develop fishery management plans needed to manage fishery resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) extending from state waters (three miles in the south Atlantic) to 200 nautical miles. The 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA) was passed by Congress to protect marine fish stocks with requirements to prevent and stop overfishing, minimize bycatch, and protect habitat. These layers geographically represents prohibitions on the use of various gear (to fish for and retain snapper grouper species) within the SAFMC EEZ.

 

GEAR METADATA SHAPEFILE GOOGLE EARTH
Roller Rig Trawls Metadata Zip File ~70kb KMZ
Sargassum Metadata Zip File ~75kb KMZ
Black Sea Bass Pots Metadata Zip File ~30kb KMZ
Bottom Longlines Metadata Zip File ~90kb KMZ
Fish Traps Metadata Zip File ~73kb KMZ
Octocorals  In Progress Zip File ~ 48kb KMZ